Managing the National Road Network Maintenance in Spain

Managing the National Road Network Maintenance in Spain


V Gómez Frías, GETINSA and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, ES


The Spanish National Road Network Management System has been developed by a consulting team led by the author. It consists in an optimisation of the maintenance investment using original models that combine technical, economical and geographical data


The Spanish Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento) manages the Spanish National Road Network, which consists in about 25,000 km. In 1992, the average age of the pavement was of 7.2 years, whereas at the present time it has increased to 9 years. The great heterogeneity of the road elements, the constant increase of the length to be maintained and its gradual aging demand to allocate important budgets but also to look for agile models of technical, economic and administrative management.
The General Subdirectorate of Conservation and Operation at the General Directorate of Roads has been in charge of the management systems of this network, first helped by the R&D Public Agency (CEDEX) and now by the engineering consultancy GETINSA (in which the author is the project manager). This communication presents the actual state of the management that consists in an Integrated Database System that includes many parameters both about the technical values of the road and the administrative follow-up of the actions done on it. It is connected to various models of pavement evolution that allows the managers to predict the future state of the roads in any parameter, and then to choose or to establish a maintenance policy. Finally, the Management System calculates the maintenance plan, detailing which actions are to be done in each section in a multi-year scenario, so that the investment and the road quality is optimised.
The Management System software combines analytical formula based on traditional data bases with geographical information (GIS), which is not only used for representing the results but also as part of the forecast and optimisation models, for which the recent technology of ?dynamic segments? has been used. Attention has been paid to conciliate the operational organisation of maintenance works with the fact that optimal needs for each road section; in other words, the heterogeneity of the parameters (as some are measured every 20 cm) would imply that actions of different kind were done in very short sections and not in the same year, so the Management System evaluates the need to homogenise the actions plan in order to make it feasible and economical.
The article starts with an analysis of other Management Systems that exist in the world. Then it describes the Spanish situation and justifies which need Management System is needed for its National Road Network. The body of the article covers the description of the functionalities and technical and economical design assumptions of this new System. Finally, the conclusions present some future evolutions for the Spanish Management Systems as well as the possibility to generalise its use to other road networks, either for pavement or other assets.


Association for European Transport